Notes & Reviews:
Porpora's 1744 Vespro per la Festivita dell'Assunta was first performed in Venice at the Ospedaletto, one of four orphanages for girls that specialized in music. The most famous of the four was the Pietà, where Vivaldi taught violin. The music is conceived in the early Classical style as developed during the 1720s by Porpora and his rivals, Leonardo Vinci and Johann Adolph Hasse. For Porpora, the work was likely pivotal in his transformation from fashionable opera composer to revered maestro di cappella and teacher. For several years now, Le Parlement de Musique has been exploring the concertante repertoire of the Venetian ospedali.
Markstrom's detective work makes an entire reconstruction possible but for this live recording makes no claims for liturgical observance or historical completeness...Le Parlement de Musique provide lean accompaniments; and the all-girl choir Maitrise de Bretagne sings with unaffected directness. Not really a proper Vespers but an enjoyable concert.
International Record Review
The all-female choir on this recording, La Maitrise de Bretagne, sounds absolutely splendid and perfectly natural - the absence of deeper voices is scarcely noticeable after the first minute or two...The three solo singers, two sopranos and one contralto, acquit themselves well in Porpora's very florid writing...All in all, this is a fascinating and highly enjoyable project.
American Record Guide, September / October 2012
The booklet is most attractive, with good notes and full texts with translations. This is not a release of major music, but it will appeal to people interested in Italian sacred music that hovers between baroque and classical.
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